Water Conservation and Quality
Few resources are more valuable than water. There is also no resource that is misused, abused, and misallocated. Safe drinking water, healthy and intact ecosystems, and a stable food supply are a few of the things at stake as our water supply is put under greater and greater stress.
The good news is that opportunities to be more efficient with water abound. At one time or another, most of us have heard and implemented one water saving technique or another. The PACE program strives to help businesses implement both high-tech water conservation strategies as well as both practical, everyday water-saving techniques.
The first step in conserving water is to obtain a water audit at your business in order to understand where your business uses the most water. PACE is equipped to perform a free water audit at your business. Once you understand your water use, choosing where you can implement water conservation is easy. PACE staff will also assist your business in obtaining all rebates available to you to offset these implementation costs.
Water conservation strategies:
- No drips! -- Keeping your existing equipment well maintained is probably the easiest and cheapest way to start saving water. A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month. Change the washers on your sinks and showers, check for toilet leaks, or try a new washerless faucet.
- Install new fixtures - New fixtures in your business, such as dual-flush toilets, low flow showerheads, water-efficient dishwashers and clothes washing machines can all save a great deal of water and money. Focus on where your business can reap the greatest rewards for new equipment. A restaurant and a gym have very different water needs, and your water audit will direct you to the best choices for new fixtures.
- Landscape wisely – If you have outside space, go beyond the lawn and xeroscape! If you have to water, do it during the coolest part of the day or at night to minimize evaporation, and use a variable spray nozzle if watering by hand. You can also greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, flower beds and lawns by the placement of soaker hoses and - installing a simple drip-irrigation system.
- Encourage good water habits - It may sound like something fairly obvious, but it down with your employees and remind them all the water that goes down the drain, clean or dirty, ends up mixing with raw sewage, getting contaminated, and meeting the same fate. Encourage employees to save water where they can during their work day, and keep their eyes open for areas for improvement.
- Don’t spike the punch! Wastewater treatment plants can only take so much OUT of the water, before it put back into our rivers. It is important that all chemicals and drugs are kept out of the water supply. Make sure your business does not dispose of anything down the drain like pharmaceuticals or oil. Likewise, your outside stormdrains are not treated, and run directly to the creek. Sweeping the outside are of your business, and not using the hose will both save water AND prevent pollutants from entering the creeks.